Carbonnade De Boeuf

Carbonnade De Boeuf

Bonjour! It’s been à la française (that’s French for “the French way”) here over the last month. You see, July brings three weeks of  anticipated delight to me with late nights sitting up watching le Tour de France. I love everything about the tour – the scenery, the tactics, the race within the race – and it unashamedly rubs off onto the things I do, including teaching myself a little français, and not a year goes by that I don’t cook something French for the family. This year it was a very simple but delicious dish, Carbonnade de Boeuf, or beef stewed in beer. This was followed by a lovely cherry clafoutis for dessert.

Father’s Day is just around the corner, right after delivery of our next hampers, so maybe a hearty meal of beef carbonnade would put a smile on the face of the Dads in your lives.



30g butter

olive oil

1 x 750g pack of diced grass fed beef – up to 1kg, round or chuck steak will work well

4 onions, chopped

1 garlic clove – crushed

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon plain flour

500ml or 2 cups beer

2 bay leaves

4 sprigs thyme

Croutons (optional)

6-8 slices baguette

Dijon mustard


Preheat oven to 150oC. Place the butter and oil in a pan on the stove top on a high heat. Once butter has melted, add the beef in batches to brown.

Remove the last of the beef, reduce the heat to moderate, add some more oil and the onion. Cook for 10 minutes, add the brown sugar and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Add a dash of water to lift off the base if it begins to stick during cooking.

Reduce the heat to low, add any juices from the cooked beef and stir in the flour. Remove from the stove top and gradually add the beer a little at a time. The liquid will foam as the beer is added. Return to the heat and let the mixture simmer gently until thickened.

Add the meat, onion, thyme and bay leaves in layers to a large casserole dish. Season each layer with salt and pepper. Pour the beer liquid over the beef, cover and bake for 2 ½ to 3 hours or until the beef is tender.

The French like to top this casserole with baguette croutons spread with dijon.

For the croutons, lightly toast your baguette on both sides (you may need to do this under the grill) and spread lightly, first with a little butter and then with the mustard. Arrange on top of the carbonnade, mustard side up and return to the grill for one minute.

I however reckon it’s best to give the croutons a swerve and serve it up with some creamy mashed potato and who doesn’t love a few green beans on the side.

Et voilà, bon appétit!

Now, for dessert!


A classic cherry (ceris) clafoutis for dessert, à la française!